No freelancer knows when is the right time to start their own business. One can wait for the perfect moment, but no successful entrepreneur, or freelance for that matter, has witnessed their own. They just went with it. Business and monetary crises, pandemics, and other setbacks will always arise, Bbt success is unavoidable when you enjoy what you do and share that enthusiasm with your clients.
Nicole is a marketing specialist with a business degree. She started her career as an assistant and gradually climbed the corporate ladder. She completed her tasks easily, and in no time, ending up as a full-time marketing manager for an international company.
Nicole’s job was a dream for many. She had a team of her own, managed marketing strategies, and even helped out her company’s sales department when needed. But, at one point, Nicole got so confident in her skills that she wanted to start her own thing.
Her job was great but there were so many things missing, like travelling and spending more time with loved ones. She wanted to escape the 9-5 and be her own boss.
Nicole transferred her skills from the marketing field to her new-found business and started providing marketing services to other businesses. Join us to learn further about Nicole’s ambitions to work independently as a freelancer.
Q: Please tell us about yourself, your expertise?
A: I am a marketing specialist. I was a Marketing Manager for many years after studying for a business degree and then left a few years ago to start my own marketing freelancing business Miss Marketing. We specialise in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and SEO. We manage all these areas for clients and teach both Facebook Ads and SEO.
I particularly enjoy the training side of things because I love equipping other businesses, entrepreneurs, courses, and content creators with the tools they need to scale beyond their wildest dreams, changing their lives. We primarily help female-led businesses in the fashion, beauty, health, interior design, and lifestyle categories.
Q: Please describe your previous work as an employee.
A: My employment history consisted of all marketing roles. I was a marketing assistant, then became a coordinator and ended my full-time employment as a Marketing Manager for an international construction company. My role was very broad – I project-managed all things marketing-related, managed a team and assisted the sales team with whatever they needed.
Q: What was the point where you decided to become a freelancer?
Four years ago, I was ready to escape the daily grind of 9-5. I’d been considering it for a while but wasn’t ready to make a move. Over a period of a month, our two best team members (who have become great friends) announced they were going on maternity leave. That was the kick I needed to make my move.
The truth is I wanted to start this business for years, but I didn’t feel ready. I wanted what I did to go on beyond the four walls of that office building and to be able to help more people achieve their life and biz dreams, and that’s exactly what I am doing now.
I craved freedom, flexibility to spend with loved ones, uncapped income, more variety in my client work, and the ability to pursue my passions like presenting. Plain and simple, I didn’t want to have to report to a manager anymore.
I dreamt of working like a nomad, travelling the world, which was going to plan until COVID struck. This year – that’s exactly what I’ve been catching up on.
Q: What are the challenges Nicole facing as a freelancer?
A: The biggest challenge I face is managing time. I find that we never buffer enough time in for work. I also work in an area that has technology. It’s always changing, which becomes an issue with troubleshooting as you always need to keep on top of everything.
It’s also becoming more and more expensive software-wise to be a freelancer as well.
Q: What can you advise a beginner freelancer?
A: As a new freelancer, I would recommend:
- Build a network, especially of partner businesses, and provide an incredible customer experience because people will recommend you;
- Set your prices and have contracts in place to protect yourself;
- Specialise in a skill as small businesses love when you are the expert in one or two areas.
Q: How to handle the inflation as a freelancer?
A: I haven’t noticed the sting within my business too much. During COVID, many people started new businesses, which meant I was extremely busy as they needed marketing. In terms of buying higher-priced items – e.g., houses, cars etc.- it’s just delayed things. I know prices will eventually come back down, though, as the bubble must burst.
Q: How are you getting new clients?
A: Many of my clients come from word-of-mouth recommendations or referrals on Facebook pages. I also use SEO and Facebook Ads on autopilot to constantly bring in new leads for my services and my courses.
Q: Name one mistake you did as a freelancer?
A: I did way too many freebies or discounted jobs for people for the first three years.
Q: Can you send a photo of your working station?
Q: How can potential clients get in touch?
A: I use my e-mail and my business website as a way to connect to potential clients. I also use social media, so you can get in touch with me through them.
While many people crave working a traditional job, some are just not fit for it. Traditional jobs provide a lot of security, but for the free spirits, it might become a burden to show up to the office every day, doing the same tasks over and over again.
Some people wish for independence, the capacity to spend more time with loved ones, an unlimited income, greater variety in client work, and the chance to pursue their hobbies.
Working for a large corporation gave Nicole a clear perspective of how a business operates. She gained quite a lot from the company’s operating manual and used that knowledge to build her own business and follow her passion. She now helps small female-led companies in the fashion, beauty, and healthcare industries.
The first few years are hard for freelancers, and Nicole was no exception. She had to do a lot of freebies and discounted work in order to enrich her portfolio. She always had a goal that reminded her to push through the hard times so that she could turn her passion into profit.
Nicole relies mostly on word-of-mouth recommendations and also uses software to target her potential customers online.
Her advice for new freelancers is to build a solid network of business partners and provide a stellar customer experience since no good work goes unnoticed. You can do that by specializing in a small set of services. Always set your prices right, and prepare contracts to protect yourself and your business.
Finally, Nicole reminds us that marketing is a rigorous and creative process and profession; if you are not passionate about your work, you will quickly burn out.